I'm about to build some new extensions for my TS and would not mind taking a
look at what some of the guys here have done. Some specifics...
- I'm probably going to go 2 feet right of the blade and this extension will
do double duty as a router table.
- I'm also going to build a 3 foot outfeed extension the full width of my
left and right extensions.
- My existing cast iron left side extension will likely stay as it is but
the right side will probably be made out of 3/4in melamine.
I'm interested in pics of what others have done as well as any experiences
using melamine for this type of application.
Two feet to the right as in total of 24" or two feet in addition to the
present cast iron wing? If you are talking two feet total, that is not
enough for a router. The concept of having a router in the table board is
OK for those with a wide table, but tight for the small ones.
In addition to Edwin's question (2' from the table? or from the wing?), I'd
like to know what kind of saw you have. I might have an idea or two you
What kind of saw?
I'll reply to both Larry and Edwin together since they both ask the same
question. I'm sorry for the lack of clarity in my first post... and in fact
for a certain amount of error. I'm going to be installing a 52" fence
system and I didn't bother to stop and figure exactly what the extension
would be off to the right. So, what I have now is a Craftsman model 100 10"
table saw with a 10" cast iron extension on each side. I'm going to remove
the extension on the right and replace it with a melamine extension that
will be approximately 24" wide. That will give me a total table width of
54". I'm also going to build an outfeed extension that will hinge down
behind the motor for easier storage. The outfeed extension will be about
11" long, bolted to the table top and then hinged to a piece about 2' long
for a total of 3' of outfeed extension. The dimensions of the outfeed
extension are driven in part by storage requirements in the workshop. It
will run the total width of the extended table surface.
For those that don't have a model 100 to reference, the table on that saw is
20x27 with no extensions and of course the standard Sears extensions are 10"
As I look at melamine in the stores, I'm wondering about its stability under
varying humidity conditions. My workshop is the third bay in the garage and
is heated, but when I'm not working out there the furnace stays on 50 just
to keep things from freezing up in the upstate NY winters. Humidity can be
a bit on the high side from time to time but my melamine cabinets out there
don't seem to suffer from it, so I'm thinking the stuff might be fine for TS
The reason I asked to see some pics of what other folks have done is to get
some ideas about
1) banding - did others band the melamine with hardwood or something else
all the way around, or just on the edge that bolts up to the saw table. I'd
be interested in seeing what others did for jointery where they banded the
melamine. Lots of ways to do these things...
2) bracing - did other brace under the extensions and in the end did they
feel they really needed to or have their extensions proven to be strong
enough without bracing
3) ideas - even though I feel that I've pretty well figured out what I want
and how to build it, I learned a long time ago that the wise man seeks the
council of many - there's just some really good ideas out there that may not
come to me without having seen what someone else did, or hearing what
someone else wishes they did.
4) was curious where others who had hung routers under their extensions
placed their router cutouts on the extension, how they did the router mount
and all that stuff.
On an unrelated note - but since I've turned this into a novel I might as
well include one other question - for those with floor mounted saws, what is
your table height off of the floor? I will be lowering the legs of my saw
while I'm working on it and was curious what the standard height for
stationary saws is.
Oh yeah - don't trash my baby. My baby is not Jet saw but I've built a lot
of fine cabinetry on this saw and wouldn't trade it for anything. It's one
of the few Sears power tools that I feel has really stood the test of time.
I've been cutting on it for over 20 years and while it's not quite perfect
(it's just far enough away from perfect to give me excuse for those minor
errors...) I just can't convince myself that there's any saw out there that
is worth putting in its place. And... it never talks back to me.
Re stability: My melamne outfeed gets used as a finishing & assembly table
all the time. After 2 years, no signs of warpage.
My approach was NOT sexy, but turned out to be very cheap easy and
functional. I took 2x4 recycled from some scaffolding that I had built,
joited and planed the into 1" by 3" stock. I glued and (sheetrock screws no
less) screwed them to the edges of the melamine. Butt joints all around. At
the time all I wanted was support and I did not want to get into a "fancy"
project. To my delight it remains beautifully flat. The 1" sides are big
enough to clamp to.
With a little wax, paint and glue drippings fly right off with the pass of a
I built mine as 2 rectangles. The first part is about 20"x48 and it is
fixed. The second half is about 24x48 and folds down. Each rectangle is
braced only by the 1x3 edge.
As it turns out... I never fold the outfeed down... it too useful. If you
can scrounge the space, consider ditching the folding feature.
My JET JTAS Cabinet saw is 34"... I believe that my prior craftsman was the
Unless it is an ope grid extension, I'd leave the CI in place. I'd rather
have a solid level cast iron table all the way over any other maerial. Not
practical for 54", but I like the cast surface on my saw.
If you plan to hang a router, plan on bracing.
I used on mounted that way. The bit was about 12" from the edge. Take a
look at some router tables and that will give you a good idea. Keep in mind
that many router table tops are very thick for stability. You may want to
consider going thikcer for that reason.
At that age it is probably better quality than most saw made today. If the
blade turns and everything is aligned, it is a good saw.
Table saw height: My saw, with it's 52" (to the right of the blade table)
is at standard height, about 34 ". So is the router table I built, and so
is the workbench. When I do the next ones (there's ALWAYS the next ones,
aren't there?), I'll make them higher by a couple of inches, so things will
be easier on my back. Now, I'm usually bending over to see things more
closely/clearly. ;-) Oh, and a lower height rolling assembly table for
That 34" ish height is, in my case, Delta's choice for the saw on a mobile
base. But most folks aren't really average. One of the more talented
woodworkers I know has all of his stationary tools set up so he can use
them easily and safely from his wheelchair.
Do what fits you. And change it when you, or your needs, change, over
I agree with you regarding the old saw. No reason to replace something
that's served you well for decades. The new stuff isn't necessarily any
All my side tables and extension tables are made from
strips of plywood capped with 1/4" mdf and finished
with laminate. The outfeed folds and is 98" from the front
of the saw. The side table is the width of the fence,
which is a 50" Biesemeyer.
Mike Marlow wrote:
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